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Brad Reynolds Books In Order

Publication Order of Father Mark Townsend Books

The Story Knife (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Ritual Death (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cruel Sanctuary (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deadly Harvest (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Brad Reynolds is a well known American writer of mystery, suspense, and thriller stories. He is popular for writing the Father Mark Townsend series of mystery novels. Brad was born in 1949 and is a Jesuit priest living in Portland, Oregon. He has held the position of an executive assistant to the Jesuits’ Provincial. He has described the character sketch of Father Townsend based on his own life. Brad used to reside in Alaska during the earlier times of his life. He shifted to Portland to take up duty as a priest.

Author Brad likes to write about the native life in Alaska and is believed to have a very good understanding of the topic. So far, he has written and published 4 full-length novels. Additionally, Brad has penned more than 300 articles throughout his life that have been published in various newspapers and magazines, including Alaska, American Scholar, America, and National Geographic. Brad’s novels and articles often have illustrations by the photographs that he clicks on his own. In 2006, he was the artist-in-residence at Spokane’s Gonzaga University. The work he carried out for the National Geographic was used by him as the basis for his debut novel. Author Brad likes to describe himself as a melancholic and introvert person.

The Father Mark Townsend Mystery series written by author Brad Reynolds is comprised of a total of four books released between 1996 and 1999. Every book of the series consists of the lead character in the role of Father Mark Townsend. He is depicted as a Jesuit priest, just like Brad, living in Washington State. Brad has described Townsend as a man with a deep understanding of the natives of Alaska. He seems to have spent a considerable amount of time between them and so, has in-depth knowledge about their everyday life and customs. Mark Townsend often likes to write about the natives with the intention of keeping their culture alive. Also, Townsend wishes to let modern people become aware of their rich culture and respect them.

In his attempt to work for the betterment of the natives, Townsends gets involved in several mysterious situations that are often connected with the murders. Mark Townsend strives to solve all those mysteries and clear the names of the natives. He seems sure that the corporate powers try to frame them wrongfully so that they can usurp their lands for their personal benefits. But, he tends to prevent all such evil intentions against the native communities from seeing the light of the day. For his dedication and love, the natives see Father Townsend as their savior. Some of the other essential characters mentioned by Brad in the books include Dutch Olsen, Brother Gabriel, Latino farm workers, Eskimos, Swinomish fishermen, parish leaders, etc. Brad has set the books’ plots in Seattle, LaConner, Carnation, Yakima Valley, Skagit Valley, and Alaska.

A very exciting book of the series is entitled ‘Ritual Death’. It was released by the Avon publication in 1997. The story takes place in LaConner, Washington and involves Swinomish Indian fishermen, Dutch, Olsen, Mark Townsend, and several others as the main characters. The book opens by describing LaConner as a serene, picturesque, and popular small town located in Northwest Puget Sound. It is learned that trouble is brewing beneath the town’s serene surface between the communities of the native and local Americans. The trouble is incited by a long-standing prejudice and takes the form of a growing storm of violence and suspicion. Instances of clashes and violence between the two communities have risen due to a recent murder.

Father Townsend makes a weekly visit to LaConner to meet his grandparents. He also looks forward to attending the yearly Tulip Festival organized in Skagit Valley. But, his recent visit is far from the usual as he learns about the brutal killing of the best friend of his grandfather, Dutch Olsen. Dutch was famous for disliking the fishing practices of the Swinomish Indians. He was also well known for having a passion for organizing illegal treasure hunting events on the tribal lands. Father Towsend begins to investigate the murder and gets caught in a volatile conflict that involves disappearing Salmon crops and stolen artifacts. Other than resolving the conflict, it is also important for Father Townsend to solve the murder mystery as soon as possible because his father is seen as the prime suspect due to his closeness to the victim. Father Townsend fears that if he doesn’t come up with a solution quickly, old deadly crimes may come to life again. He doesn’t wish to let that happen and puts all his efforts to unravel the mystery and catch the real culprit.

Another popular book of the series is known as ‘Cruel Sanctuary’. It was also published by Avon in 1999. The story takes place in Carnation, Washington and shows Mark Townsend in the central role again. At the start, it is mentioned that Father Towsend becomes mystified to find evidence that some unknown visitor hides in the St, Joseph parish every night. Thinking that it might a homeless youth from Seattle, Townsend leaves a $20 bill with a note written on it. He asks the visitor to come and meet him. The next day, he is surprised to find the police at his door. They inform him that the dead body of a 14-year-old boy is discovered in the park. There were signs of bad bruises and violence on the victim’s body.

The police also find the $20 bill with Townsend’s incriminating note from the boy’s pocket. Father Townsend becomes heartbroken at the brutal murder of the boy, but the police see him as a suspect because of the note. They inquire him about his relationship with the victim, to which he doesn’t have any answer as he did not know the boy personally. Later, it is learned that the boy was a runaway from a small village in Alaska and has a family living in Carnation. Father Townsend becomes concerned for the family of the boy and for his reputation. He starts looking for answers to each of the questions related to the mystery. Townsend finds it difficult to manage the investigation along with the pastoral duties, which leads to suspicion and disapproval among the parish leaders. But, that doesn’t bother him from going behind the real murderer before he takes the life of another innocent victim. Father Townsend knows that it is the only way of clearing his name and calming the troubled waters.

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